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IP/08/161

Brussels, 31st January 2008

European Commission sends Reasoned Opinion to the Czech Republic regarding the accession to the Safeguard Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency

The European Commission decided today to send a reasoned opinion to the Czech Republic because of the country's failure to accede to the Agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community, its non-nuclear weapon Member States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons[1]. If the Czech Republic does not take the necessary measures to accede to this agreement, the Commission will have to refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which all Member States are parties, requires the conclusion of safeguards agreements with the IAEA by non-nuclear weapon states for the purpose of verifying that their obligations assumed under the Treaty are fulfilled. This is required in order to prevent the diversion of nuclear energy for peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The trilateral agreement was concluded between the Community, the non-nuclear weapons Member States and the IAEA in 1977 and supplemented in 1998 by the Additional Protocol.

In accordance with the Act of Accession, the Czech Republic has a legal obligation to accede to the international agreements concluded by the Member States and the Community before the accession. In particular, the Czech Republic has a legal obligation to accede to this trilateral Community agreement and apply its provisions instead of its bilateral agreement with the IAEA which should then be suspended.

Accession by the Czech Republic to this Agreement is indispensable for consistency of the implementation of Community safeguard provisions under the Euratom Treaty and legal obligations of the EU under the trilateral agreement with the IAEA referred to above.


[1] 78/164/Euratom, OJ L 51 of 22.2.1978, p.1


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